They Got Game
Girls Basketball Outlook: Area teams aim for postseason success
Girls Basketball Outlook
By Malcolm Shields
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
As the 2017-18 girls basketball season enters December, many teams in the Daily Advance's coverage area have the opportunity to earn wins early in the season that could propel them into postseason action in mid-February.
Camden, Perquimans, Pasquotank, John A. Holmes and Currituck aim to return to the state playoffs, while Northeastern looks to experience postseason play after missing out last winter.
Victory Christian looks to duplicate its 2016-17 championship season in the NCCA this season.
Here is more on girls basketball teams in the area:
Coach: Amy Bateman
Last season's record: (2-18, 0-13 TIC)
Outlook: The Lady Colts return five players from last season's team.
Out of the five, four were starters last year.
Bateman noted that guards Lindsay Winslow and Myra Roach have played together for a long time and work well together. The coach added that their experience will offset the inexperience of the younger players.
Joining the guards in the starting five will be Brooke Perry, Taylor Stallings and Sylvia Jennings.
Katie Hansen, Maritza Alcantar-Reyes, Monique Guzman-Torres, Mariah Goodwin and Deniz Becki will have the opportunity to contribute this season.
Bateman added that the Lady Colts will be competitive and improve throughout the season as new players settle into their roles.
Coach: Matt Sundberg
Last season's record: (13-13, 11-7 Coastal 10)
Outlook: Despite having a young team last winter, the Lady Bruins earned a spot in the 1A state playoffs and won its first round game at Raleigh Charter.
The victory was the Lady Bruins first win the the playoffs in five years.
Camden will have to replace the production of four-year starter and Daily Advance All-Area team member Jaycie Staples this winter.
Staples was the only senior on the team last season.
The Lady Bruins have returning starters in Haley Loyd, Shae Ferebee, Hannah Ferebee and Hailey Bunting.
Cailey Byrum, Lilly Cartwright and Taniya Swinson will also see time in the starting lineup.
Abby Williams, a junior, along with freshmen Elaina Greene, Emma Teter, Danesha Gregory and Libby Lias will contribute this season.
Sundberg, who enters his third season leading the program, noted that his relatively young team is eager to contend in the new Albemarle Athletic Conference this season, while adding freshmen and sophomores look to aid the upperclassmen in contending for a conference championship.
Coach: Matt Dixon
Last season's record: (14-11, 6-6 Northeastern Coastal)
Outlook: The Lady Knights will have to replace the production of All-Area team member Lindsey Lykins, who is at the college ranks as a softball player at Virginia Wesleyan.
Currituck, which went 1-1 at the Battle of the Beach Showcase on Nov. 16-17, return veteran players Lauren Gerni and Jessica Smith.
Other key players for the Lady Knights include Isis Saunders and Anna Poston.
JOHN A. HOLMES
Coach: David Peeler
Last season's record: (15-8, 6-6 Northeastern Coastal)
Outlook: The Lady Aces will play in the 1A Albemarle Athletic Conference this season.
Edenton will have to replace the scoring of guard Jer'Kyrah Jackson, who was a senior last season.
The Lady Aces will endure plenty of turnover this season as the majority of the roster last season were seniors.
Coach: Pat Thornton
Last season's record: (7-14, 3-9 Northeastern Coastal)
Outlook: Despite not making the state playoffs in Class 2A last winter, the Lady Eagles had a standout season from then junior Breanna Proctor.
Proctor's 19 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks per game landed her on the Associated Press All-State team.
Proctor, now a senior, will try to duplicate her junior campaign to go with leading NHS back to the state playoffs.
Proctor, last winter’s Area Player of the Year, is on pace to surpass the 1,000 career-point mark this season.
Proctor and guard Corleis Riddick are two returning starters from last season's team.
Riddick averaged nine points, three rebounds and two assists per game last season.
Expected to earn time in the starting lineup are forwards, Tasharli Spellman and Love Ott.
Thornton noted that Spellman, who averaged five rebounds per game last season, is a good defender, while Ott works hard and is very physical.
Jazmyn Jones could also be a key player for the Lady Eagles at guard.
Thornton noted that Spellman, Ott, Kalethia Harris and Shelishia Bond can take some of the pressure off of Proctor, while adding all three can contribute in different ways.
A team effort, utilizing its height advantage, being prepared for every game and having younger players learn the system will be key for Northeastern this winter.
Coach: Ray Burnham
Last season's record: (14-10, 7-5 Northeastern Coastal)
Outlook: The Lady Panthers have a good share of experienced players returning this season.
Pasquotank was the runner up to Bertie last winter in the regular season and at the conference tournament.
All-Conference and All-Area performer Amaya Simpson will lead Pasquotank this season.
The senior forward scored 17 points in the Lady Panthers' season-opening win at home against Perquimans last Tuesday.
She will be joined by returning starters Kennedy Griffin, Mikasia Jordan and D'Zyah Brazzle.
Veriah Williams will see time in the starting lineup, while Jaleia Oatman, a junior, will contribute.
Burnham noted that the key to the season is for the Lady Panthers to play hard on both ends of the floor.
Coach: Aaron Burke
Last season's record: (14-11, 14-4 Coastal 10)
Outlook: The Lady Pirates will have a nearly new starting lineup this season as senior guard McCrae Knapp is the only returning player from last season's team that advanced to the first round of the 1A state playoffs.
Jade Mitchell, J'Dazah Brown, Chyna Elliott and Kayle Knapp will see time in the starting lineup.
Asha Elliott, Rachel Lane, Carly Elliott and Jayla Hall will contribute this season.
Burke noted that team speed, leadership and team work are some of the strengths for the Lady Pirates this season.
Due to the lack of size, the Perquimans coach noted that rebounding will be key for the team this winter. Perquimans will compete in the Albemarle Athletic Conference this season.
Coach: Dan Moore
Last season's record: (19-1, 9-1 N.C. Christian North)
Outlook: The Lady Eagles return plenty of scoring from last season's conference championship.
Ayden Larabee, who scored her 1,000th career-point last season, returns for her senior campaign this winter.
The forward will be joined by returning starters Morgan Brock and Charity Knotts.
Orian Williams and Ashlyn Brown round out the starting five.
Moore noted the amount of returning scoring, senior leadership and solid defense are the strengths for the Lady Eagles, while the loss of three seniors, two of which were starters, with the loss of some size will be a weakness for the team this season. Victory Christian is off to a 3-3 start to the season.